GLOSSARY: A list of common Chinese terms in Christianity

Hungry for the Word

The truth is China is not a "godless land" that I subconsciously thought it was. I raise this point as a "jumping off" point because - to be quite honest - there are so many people in the west who believe it is - just as I did.

I tell myself all the time that I am not a judgmental person - and that helps me feel all warm and fuzzy inside - but the reality is if someone had told me, when I boarded the plane in Detroit's Metropolitan Airport, that a year later I'd be deep into my role as a preacher and pastor I would not have believed them.

And so the story goes on to tell how surprised I was, after I arrived in China, to discover that the Church is very busy in China. Mind you, here I am not talking about the state-sanctioned "Three Self" and Patriotic Catholic churches - which in some places are HUGE - rather I am talking about one of the fastest growing social phenomena in Chinese culture: the house church fellowships that exist throughout all of China.

The truth about the church in China

Here's the thing: I strongly believe that China is on the precipice of a spiritual breakthrough, the likes of which the world has never seen. The Chinese government puts the number of Christians in Protestant churches at around 11,000,000. What they fail to mention is that this only accounts for the Christians in state-sanctioned "Three Self" churches. What they frther fail to mention is that independent estimates put the number of Christians in underground house churches at anywhere between 60 and 100 million, obviously, accurate numbers are impossible to ascertain, as most of these brothers and sisters must worship in secret. Read: " How Many Christians Are There in China?"

One of the largest churches in Asia is Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea. Twenty years ago the membership of that church was an astounding 300,000. Today there are over a million members. I can tell you without equivocation that the many of the men and women who minister in China's house churches are believing God for the same sort of spiritual awakening troughout China.

Have a look at some of the churches in the gallery on this web site, go here:

I feel I also must say a few things about the brothers and sisters who worship in the numerous Three Self churches, around China (If the church has a public face, like the churches in our gallery, it operates with the permission of the Religious Affairs Bureau.). They are not bad people - in fact I have several very good friends who belong to the church, here; and was told by the lay pastor in Ningbo that I could meet in their building, if I had a group that needed a place to worship (I was just in town for two days).

Even more interesting is the fact that religion - Christianity in particular - may no longer be the proverbial "opiate of the [uneducated] masses." The truth is we might also have arrived at a time when it is necessary to take a fresh look at the expression "godless Communists" - at least as it relates to China.

Just to cite one example: "On 1 January 2007, as reported by the China Aid Association, officials of the Public Security Bureau (PSB) secret police raided a Protestant meeting in Hebei Province's Baoding City. At first glance this appeared to be just another sad incident of state repression against religious believers. However, this meeting was unique in important respects. First, it was held in the local Communist Party school, a training ground for party cadres. Second, the meeting was hosted by the school's vice president, who presumably is a member of the Chinese Communist Party." This article was published by F18News on: 13 February 2007

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